Statement by H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki,
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
First Regular Session of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS:
27 January 2014
At the outset, I would like to warmly congratulate you, Ambassador Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Fiji, on your election to the Presidency of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board. I would also like to congratulate the other Bureau members on their election. Further, I should like to thank the former President, Ambassador Roble Olhaye, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti, and the other Bureau members for their outstanding efforts during last year. I, of course, would like to thank the Administrator, Mrs. Helen Clark, for her statement this morning.
(Strategic Plan/Global Programme)
This year is an important year for UNDP, as it will be adopting the Global Programme and the Regional Programmes, in line with the Strategic Plan 2014-2017. UNDP is also implementing its structural review that will bring the Strategic Plan into reality. Japan views these efforts as very important and will continue to support UNDP’s endeavors in these areas.
The UNDP Strategic Plan, as well as its draft Global Programme, prioritizes disaster risk reduction, an issue on which my Government places much importance. In March 2015, the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be taking place in Sendai, Japan to agree on the post-Hyogo framework. I also should point out that disaster risk reduction should be an important element of the post-2015 development agenda. Japan therefore welcomes the importance that UNDP attaches to disaster risk reduction. We wish to work even more closely with UNDP in this area.
(Post-2015 development agenda)
Speaking of the post-2015 development agenda, the reports of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing are expected to be finalized by September this year. The intergovernmental negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda will follow. In this context, Japan would like to reiterate its appreciation for the inputs provided through the various global consultations under the leadership of the Administrator as the chair of the UN Development Group. Japan, on its part, co-organized many events with UNDP in order to provide meaningful inputs to the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. It certainly wishes to continue such efforts.
We also should not forget that there are only approximately 700 days left to attain the MDGs. Efforts to accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs is becoming ever more important.
Japan welcomes UNDP’s work on drafting the Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017. At the General Debate of the General Assembly in September last year, Prime Minister Abe said, “I wish to bring about a society where women shine, both within Japan and also in regions in conflict and countries suffering from poverty.” He emphasized “the necessity of promoting women’s participation in society and of the empowerment of women.” He also emphasized “the importance of maternal, newborn and child health.” Furthermore, he stressed “the importance of women’s participation and protection in the areas of peace and security.” To do these, Prime Minister Abe announced the intention of Japan to provide ODA in excess of 3 billion USD over the next three years. We would expect UNDP to be making efforts in these three areas so that we may support such UNDP activities.
This first regular session of the Executive Board is scheduled to adopt the Strategic Framework of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation 2014-2017. Japan has placed much importance on south-south and triangular cooperation, as it has been actively implementing triangular cooperation for more than 30 years. QCPR also calls upon funds and programmes to mainstream support to south-south and triangular cooperation. We expect the UN Office for South-South Cooperation to effectively coordinate and promote south-south cooperation in the UN System. We therefore support the adoption of the Strategic Framework.
In order to support such a wide variety of UNDP’s activities, the Government of Japan submitted to the Diet, our parliament, two budget proposals that have impact on UNDP; one includes core contribution to UNDP and the other includes non-core contribution. We will continue to support UNDP to the maximum extent possible even under difficult circumstances that include rapid depreciation of the yen. We do so in order to allow UNDP to conduct its activities effectively and efficiently with continuous efforts for greater transparency and accountability, and to deliver results in the areas that Japan attaches importance, such as disaster risk reduction and gender, as well as recovery efforts in the Middle East, Sub-Sahara Africa and Afghanistan.